GORV - Digital Magazine Issue #41 - Page 5

BELOW ARE JUST SOME OF THE OTHER ENTRIES… WEIGHT AGAIN There has been much discussion in respect to legal weight carrying capacity of 4WDs when towing caravans. Considering the actual carrying capacity for each vehicle can vary, individuals are required to investigate the weight they can legitimately tow and how much they can legally carry in their vehicle while towing. Add to this that manufacturers have varying stipulations, unique to the particular model of vehicle, and it is easy to see why consumers become confused and often unknowingly breach load capacities. Three years ago, I bought a Jeep Grand Cherokee with a towball capacity of 350kg and an advertised carrying capacity of 3500kg. I did this in preparation for the Bushtracker caravan I am having built, which will have a Tare weight of about 2700kg and an ATM of 3500kg. That all sounds good for towing with the Jeep; however, when I did the calculations, I found I could only tow 3150kg (GCM minus GVM) if I was to preserve the 610kg payload of my vehicle. I couldn't afford to reduce my vehicle’s payload, so I was forced to look for another vehicle. I now own a Land Cruiser 200 Series, which has an unaffected towball weight of 350kg and a maximum unaffected towing mass of 3500kg. In my opinion, although the Land Cruiser comes close, there does not appear to be an overall ‘winning’ 4WD tow vehicle in Australia that meets all the desired characteristics of size, comfort, towing capacity, payload and price for the general tourer. Each vehicle has attributes that frustrates the purchaser when considering it as a heavy-duty tow vehicle. I also feel consumers are inadvertently not being given the full facts about towing weight capacities by some car dealers. In some cases, I have found car salesman are not even aware of the actual towing capabilities of the vehicles they are selling. We need more upfront honesty in making the consumer aware of 4WD towing capabilities so that a confident decision can be made when considering a vehicle for towing purposes. Andrew Sip